Monday, September 1, 2008

Credit for Success

As you may or may not know, I am currently in training for the Long Beach International City Marathon on Oct. 12, 2008. I have been training since May, and last week I completed a 16-mile run over the weekend. While I have been training pretty well up to this point, this was the first long-run after which I really felt the "pain" of the run. Combine this with a very hectic week, and it spelled disaster for my running schedule. I'm currently preparing for another semester of teaching, launching my own business, and trying to maintain a fulfilling family and social life. One thing I've learned is that when I take on new things, especially too many, something's gotta give. Unfortunately, this week it was my running. The other factors were just too critical or important, and I honestly felt like I needed a mental and physical break from my running regimen. While I did take a break from running, I did not completely throw in the towel in my physical activity plans all together. I continued to incorporate physical activity in other ways that were really just as, if not more, satisfying than my regular running routine. These included things such as taking evening walks with my daughter and husband, walking my daughter to the park and playing with her on the playground equipment, dancing with my daughter to some silly kids' music, or walking errands instead of driving. I decided to write my blog on this topic today because I realized how easily discouraged I could've gotten by getting off track with my running this week. However, I took the time to reflect on the successes that I did have this week. I did include ways of being physically active everyday, and I did get back on track with my running routine today.

I have worked with many people on making lifestyle changes who see success as black or white, and I've often found myself trying to get them to see the shades of gray. For many, it's difficult. To me, success is not perfection but progress. I think many people have a difficult time accepting the small wins when it comes nutrition and physical activity. However, I truly believe that it's important to remember your success, no matter how large or seemingly small, and give yourself credit. So, if you're feeling discouraged, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the changes you've made or the little things that you did today, this week, or this month that have helped you progress toward your goals whether you realize it or not. Success is about moving forward, and as long as you're doing that, you're doing great!


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